Blog

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (2012)

bernadetteSomething snapped in Bernadette a long time ago. No one knows for sure. She quit her job at the peak of her architectural career. She had several miscarriages. Now she is a recluse who tries to hold it together for the sake of her brilliant daughter Bee. She thinks she has found the answer with the help of a virtual assistant, but everything goes wrong when the family is about to embark on a trip to Antarctica.

Check out Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette along with other stories told through letters, emails, diaries, etc. in our list of Epistolary Novels.

Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe (2015)

manatthehelmIn the early 1970s, a woman from a wealthy background suddenly finds herself divorced and living in a small English village, where divorced women are suspect (it would seem for good reason). The book is told in the first person by ten-year-old Lizzie (looking back as an adult) and has quite a funny tone and wonderfully set pieces. Nina Stibbe’s Man at the Helm is very funny, but sad too.

I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano (2012)

icouldpeeonthisDelight in to this amusing short book of poems from a cat’s point of view. The poems in I Could Pee on This really capture a cat’s quirky personality and behavior. Cute photos enhance enjoyment of Francesco Marciuliano’s book.

One poem I particularly liked:

“Busy, Busy”

It’s 8 a.m. and time to rest
It’s 10 a.m. and time to relax
It’s noon and time for repose
It’s 3 p.m. and time for shut-eye
It’s 6 p.m. and time for siesta
It’s 9 p.m. and time to slumber
It’s midnight and time to snooze
It’s 4 a.m. and time to hang upside down from your bedroom ceiling, screaming

Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (1994)

Bird by Birdbirdbybird is Anne Lamott's book on writing. She covers a wide variety on life and writing including chapters called "Sh**ty First Drafts," "Jealousy," and "Writer's Block." She begins with a simple example from 30 years ago of her then 10-year-old brother struggling with a report on birds that was due the next day. He didn't have any idea on how to even begin. Their father came to comfort him and said that he all he needed to do to complete the report was to take it "bird by bird." It is a simple and touching beginning that summarizes the entire book. This book is inspiring and hopeful to all writers and artists who are struggling to complete their writing goals. I recommend it to anyone who likes to create.

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (2014)

dearcommitteemembersJulie Schumacher's brief epistolary novel offers a glimpse of academia from a crotchety and beleaguered middle-aged creative writing professor. In a series of snarky letters, Jason Fitger laments the death of liberal arts on college campuses, endorses his struggling grad student, and documents the ridiculousness of teaching in a decrepit building. His own literary career trending downward, Fitger channels his creativeness into countless pithy letters of recommendation written over the course of a school year.

Pick up Dear Committee Members for a quick laugh, an endearing character, and a nostalgic look at days gone by. And if you’re a fan of stories told in letters, emails, and more, check out our list of epistolary novels.
Tags:

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith (2005)

index.aspxEnjoy the very funny adventures of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld in The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs. I listened to the audio version, which was read by Hugh Laurie. His voice and delivery complimented Alexander McCall Smith’s text.

The first book in the series is titled Portuguese Irregular Verbs.
Tags:

Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time by Rachel Bertsche (2014)

index.aspxI thoroughly enjoyed Rachel Bertsche's quest to emulate a different celebrity each month (Jennifer Aniston's workout regimen, Gwyneth Paltrow's cooking, etc.) in order to improve her happiness, well-being, etc. In Jennifer, Gwyneth, & Me, the planning and execution of the journey is balanced with her personal struggle with infertility. The author's engaging voice is humorous and relatable. She includes interesting perspectives on celebrity culture and how it has changed... whether you're a regular People or have a love-hate relationship with the current obsession with celebrities, Bertsche's voice will draw you in.
 
 

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (2000)

Me Talk Pretty One Day is a series of funny essays by David Sedaris. In the first half of the book, he recounts humorous anecdotes about his life in the United States, but my favorite is an essay about his time living in France and trying to learn French with transplants from around the world. The class eagerly attempts, in very broken French, to try to describe to a Muslim woman what Easter is. It is one of the funniest things I have ever read.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (2008)

I was motivated to pick up The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick after seeing the previews for the movie adaptation starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. I was not disappointed.

34-year-old Pat Peoples believes in silver linings despite his 4+ years in a mental institution, his “apart time” from his wife, and his underperforming Philadelphia Eagles. When he returns home, his father won’t talk to him, his mother is overly accommodating, and his friend Ronnie attempts to help by introducing his sister-in-law Tiffany.

In this quirky and heartening novel, Pat’s stream-of-conscious narration provides a unique perspective on life (including a hilarious take on classic literature). Nancy Pearl calls the novel “heartwarming, humorous, and soul-satisfying.”
Tags:

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche (2011)

In this funny and engaging memoir, 27-year-old Rachel Bertsche details her quest for new friends in a new city. After moving to Chicago with her boyfriend, Bertsche realizes that her close friends are scattered across the country. In an effort to find her next best friend, Bertsche joins cooking classes, meet ups, and improv classes and then schedules 52 friend “dates” throughout the year.

With a witty tone, Bertsche interweaves her experiences with research from friendship experts. Entertaining and a little bit educational. Check out MWF Seeking BFF to read more of her story. And before you get the book, read the blog that started it all.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2012)

Rachel Joyce’s first novel –  about a retired Englishman setting off to visit a dying colleague, Queenie Hennessy – sounds excessively sentimental, but it is an inspiring kind of book.  Harold’s need to reconnect with Queenie sends him on a wandertour up England, but his journey becomes one of self-discovery.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a novel told with humor and charm leading to a powerful climax. I found it to contain insight into the thoughts and feelings we all carry (sometimes buried) within our hearts.

The story is so compelling it becomes a comic and tragic joy and I love it when I find a book that is this funny, wise and charming!
Tags:

Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis (1985)

By the author of True Grit, Masters of Atlantis is one of the funniest books I have read in years. The first few chapters are not very funny, but they lay the background for a lot of laugh-out-loud moments later on in the book. Read more books by Charles Portis.
Tags:

I am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert (2007)

I listened to this book that I downloaded from eMediaLibrary. It’s narrated by the author, Stephen Colbert. If you enjoy his show, The Colbert Report, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Many laugh-out-loud, hysterical moments as he makes comments and observations about many topics, including family, faith, the media, race, etc… in his right-wing, “serious,” completely tongue in cheek, biting manner.

Check the catalog for I am American (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert.
 

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern (2010)

I downloaded this audiobook from eMediaLibrary. I thought it was hilarious! Halpern is a guy in his late twenties who moved back in with his parents after his girlfriend broke up with him. He decided to start a Twitter page relating his father’s “words of wisdom,” after encouragement from friends who thought they were hysterical. The Twitter page became so popular that he turned it into this book.

He relates stories from his childhood to adulthood, always including his father’s commentary, which is often irreverent, sometimes thought-provoking, and always funny

Disclaimer: Much of this book is strewn with profanity, so may not be appropriate for everyone.

Check the catalog to see if Sh*t My Dad Says is available.

 

You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs

You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs (2009)
The holidays have you frazzled and frustrated? Then you can’t miss this Christmas memoir. Burroughs’ witty writing style will have you laughing all the way to 2012!

Looking for more books that will make you laugh out loud here is our list of humorous stories.